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How your team fared - Friday

EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

Ferrari

Result:

FP1 – Alonso P4, Massa P18

FP2 – Alonso P4, Massa P7

Report:

Alonso gave us a wet-weather master-class at various times during the day, the highlight a pulse-quickening moment out of Turn 16 on his final flying lap in the first session; meanwhile Massa, under pressure in 2011, didn’t help his cause with an off at Turn 9, mistiming his braking and putting two wheels on the grass, that beached him in the gravel trap. It went better for the Brazilian second time around as Ferrari suggested the gloom and doom from testing might have been exaggerated.

Reaction:

"Honestly, it's impossible to give any sort of assessment of the performance of the F2012 and on the prospects for this weekend. We had said we must wait until tomorrow's qualifying to know more, so you need to be patient for a further 24 hours! We too are very curious to know where we stand compared to the competition..." -- Pat Fry

Force India

Result:

FP1 – Hulkenberg P12, Di Resta P13 FP2 – Hulkenberg P2, Di Resta P6

Report:

Sign of the times? Some say the midfield will close on the leading pack this year and today seemed to bear that out. In second practice Hulkenberg produced a superb performance, especially in the frenzied final moments, and was deprived of top spot only by an in-form Michael Schumacher. Di Resta too had enjoyed his own time at the top and a top-six display is a great springboard into the weekend.

Reaction:

“The difficult thing is that we didn’t really get an impression of where everybody is in terms of performance, so there are still lots of unknowns going into tomorrow.” – Paul di Resta

Sauber

Result:

FP1 – Kobayashi P10, Perez P15

FP2 – Kobayashi P5, Perez P3

Report:

Kamui Kobayashi lived up to his unique reputation with the most spectacular moment of the day. Right at the end of FP2 the Sauber launched itself into a lurid spin down the main straight and KK performed miracles to keep it off the wall. Perez was another to top the second-session times and even at this early stage a top-five double is encouraging for the under-liveried Swiss outfit.

Reaction:

“The third free practice tomorrow will be very important,” said Perez. “We have to watch how the conditions develop and then really get everything right for qualifying.”

Caterham

Result:

FP1 – Kovalainen P17, Petrov P20

FP2 – Kovalainen P8, Petrov P13

Report:

Kovalainen gave us the other heart-stopping moment of the day. It came moments before Kobayashi’s when the Finn went straight on at Turn 1, crossed the grass and rejoined just before two following cars got to him. Petrov seemed to bed in nicely as the day went on while Heikki’s top-10 effort and the company he was keeping in FP2 may also be grounds for optimism.

Reaction:

Kovalainen: “The main thing was that we had a good balance all day, and kept improving the setup in both sessions. It's also good to see that the new spec front wing that we ran both this morning and this afternoon is giving more grip overall, so that’s another positive step forward.”

McLaren

Result:

FP1 - Button P1, Hamilton P2

FP2 - Button P15, Hamilton P16

Report:

There was little between the McLaren drivers all day – just two-tenths of a second in each session – but tellingly it was Button who outpaced Hamilton in a continuation of their 2011 intra-team battle. Button set the fastest time of the day when the track was at its driest in the morning, while Hamilton managed just 11 laps in the afternoon as McLaren kept its powder dry for Saturday.

Reaction:

“I think tomorrow we'll definitely get a better understanding of just how quick people are. It’s going to be interesting; I'm massively excited to see how it goes.” – Lewis Hamilton

Lotus

Result:

FP1 - Raikkonen P9, Grosjean P16

FP2 - Raikkonen P18, Grosjean P14

Report:

A low-key beginning to the season for a team that showed genuine pace in pre-season testing and were considered a spoiler in Melbourne. Raikkonen’s first day at a Grand Prix in two years was a stop-start affair with steering rack problems and issues with his seat, while Grosjean didn’t venture on track in the damp second session until the final 15 minutes, and lost out on the soft tyre runs in the frantic final moments.

Reaction:

"The set-up we have now is working well. It may take a while before we get it perfect but we'll make the best of it. I didn't push too hard today -- if it's dry tomorrow we'll have a better idea of what we need to do." -- Kimi Raikkonen

Toro Rosso

Result:

FP1 - Ricciardo P7, Vergne P19

FP2 - Ricciardo P21, Vergne P20

Report:

The all-new pairing at Red Bull’s second squad were the busiest teammates in the field on Friday, with Ricciardo covering 54 laps and Vergne 46. The Australian was a meritorious sixth in the first session which he said went “pretty well, very good even”, while Vergne kept his nose clean on his first Grand Prix Friday at a track he’d never been to. The Frenchman also had the honour of being the first man out of pit lane to start the new year.

Reaction:

“All the hype this week has made it feel as though this is my first F1 race again, but it’s not – and I’ve just got to get on with things.” – Daniel Ricciardo

HRT

Result:

FP1 - Karthikeyan P23, De la Rosa P24

FP2 - Karthikeyan P23, De la Rosa P24

Report:

It was a case of déjà vu for HRT after a wretched start to the season here last year; the team pulled an all-nighter to get Pedro de la Rosa’s car ready for scrutineering on Friday morning, but the veteran Spaniard didn’t make it on track at all in the first session and managed just one installation lap before a power steering gremlin ended his running later in the day. Karthikeyan’s Friday wasn’t a lot happier – the Indian ground to a halt with oil pressure problems in practice one, and was almost eight seconds adrift of nearest rival Charles Pic of Marussia in the second session.

Reaction:

“You wish me luck? Thanks. We need it.” – team principal Luis Perez Sala after a difficult opening day of the season

Red Bull Racing

Result:

FP1 – Webber P5, Vettel P11. FP2 - Vettel P10, Webber P11

Report:

In typically capricious conditions for Melbourne, both men made a slow start to the weekend, but were reasonably satisfied with their efforts. Both were left hoping for more on Saturday. Vettel was top of the times for a few minutes in the final stages, but only briefly, while Webber had an off-circuit excursion at turn one that saw him collecting fresh grass. Both men, like everyone else, were left with ‘plenty to learn’ in the changing conditions.

Reaction:

“Maybe we did not get everything we needed but we can be quite happy.” - Vettel. “I wasn't happy at all in the car in the morning. This afternoon was a bit better, but with these conditions it is difficult to do a lot of running. It's up to us to find the balance and understand the car a bit more…It was pretty messy in the end, especially with only a couple of laps in the dry. It's difficult to read. Tomorrow the target is to get into Q3 and then we go from there…” -- Webber

Mercedes

Result:

FP1 – Schumacher P3, Rosberg P6

FP2 – Schumacher P1, Rosberg P9

Report:

Schumacher made light of his 43 years and fools of those who had written off his competitive edge with a vintage display of commitment and skill in the changing conditions. On this day, he out-classed Rosberg who struggled to match him as he revelled in the performance of their car, topped the times frequently and timed his final fastest lap, with seconds remaining, to perfection. It was a reminder of what he can do at his best.

Reaction:

“We're in much better shape here now than we were 12 months ago and we've got a stronger bed of foundation. All our resources are being put into improving the performance of the car, whereas 12 months ago there was all sorts of things wrong -- so we were distracted. I think this performance proves what I mean! And it is wonderful for Michael of course…” Ross Brawn

Williams

Result

FP1 – Maldonado P8, Senna P14

FP2 – Maldonado P17, Senna P19

Report:

Both men made the best of the drier conditions in the second part of the opening session to give the team some confidence after a European winter of concentrated evolution. In the more difficult wet passages, Maldonado left the circuit but without making impact with the barriers while Senna, on his debut with the team that his uncle Ayrton once represented, kept things tidy. Maldonado was also the first man in 2012 to be caught speeding in the pit lane, a misdemeanour that cost him a fine of 400 Euros.

Reaction:

“We’ve made a lot of changes, but none of any great importance… but our new technical leadership have delivered this car and we have not missed a trick. We have re-designed our car and with a new engine. So, we are very pleased…” – Adam Parr.

Marussia

Result

FP1 – Glock P21, Pic P22

FP2 – Glock P12, Pic P22

Report:

This was a day of launching into the unknown for the car, the team and rookie driver Charles Pic in treacherous weather conditions. The MR01 cars survived unscathed and delivered consistent performances while both drivers acquitted themselves well. In the changing conditions, both took a cautious approach, but finished with optimism.

Reaction:

“It’s a little early to be getting carried away, but equally we couldn’t have wished for a better start to our 2012 campaign on a day when everything could have gone wrong for us! The weather certainly did, but we managed to give everyone in the team something to smile about after a challenging few months back at base. To be in the midfield is a great boost to the team from Timo and I think Charles conducted himself perfectly.” – team principal John Booth

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